Economic and Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities – Lebanon

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Lebanon, with a population of 5.85 million and a GDP US$47.085 billion, has an unemployment rate of 6.8%. While the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) is 21.3%, the proportion of female youth (27.3%) is higher than that of male youth (16%). For youth with disabilities, unemployment rate is higher and working conditions are worse. The adjusted net enrolment rate for upper secondary education reached 57.3% in 2011.

The program equally targets male and female youth (18-24 years) with disabilities. Social workers use community outreach relying on the Ministry of Social Affairs’ Social Development Centres as well as local municipalities, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


Implementation of programme/ initiative:

Economic and Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities is a partnership between Lebanese Physically Handicapped Union (LPHU), Christian Aid UK, and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The program aims at sustainably improving the livelihoods, and social and economic inclusion of youth with disabilities and their families in Lebanon. More specifically, the project aims at facilitating the access of youth with disabilities to employment via community-based training and job coaching, spreading a culture of diversity among stakeholders and within the labour market through advocacy and awareness-raising, and monitoring law enforcement of 220/2000:8 Rights and Access for Persons with Disabilities.


Main challenges:

  • Some parents did not believe that their children could participate in the project, and feared that they might fail, leading to early drop-out.
  • There was lack of availability and high cost of transportation.
  • The project was interrupted in Bekaa due to the security situation.
  • The changes in government and ministers posed a challenge.
  • There was a challenge in reaching the target groups and securing funds.


Results achieved:

In the first phase of the program (2008-2011), job training was provided for 3000 youth with disabilities, of whom 25% were employed in the formal sector, half of which were women. In the second phase (2012-2015), 36 job training sessions were conducted reaching more than 500 youth with disabilities, of whom 20% found employment or training opportunities. During 2005-2014, around 450 job opportunities were offered leading to the employment of 310 participants. The program successfully made ministries aware of their political obligations in providing employment for youth with disabilities. The Accessibility Decree was issued enforcing its application in the public.


Moving Forward:

The implementers of the project plan to provide additional counselling for youth with disabilities, to expand the coursework allowing for higher technical skills (specialized computer and English courses), to enhance transportation options, and to advocate for interregional coordination and networking.



In the phase 2012-2015, LPHU collaborated with an NGO in Palestine and assisted it in implementing the project there. This collaboration was funded by Christian Aid and the European Union



World Bank, 2016

International Labor Organization, 2016

Good Practices in Adolescent and Youth Programming, 2015.

Project Details

Date: October 12, 2017

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